Ask the experts

 

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East Wedding magazine. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yournortheast.wedding.

To view more Q&A's on a different topic, please select one from the list below.

Hot topic: Wedding worries

Unsure on etiquette but don’t know where to turn? Our North East experts are here to help

Festival fever

Festival fever

Q. My fiancé and I attend gigs throughout the year and have decided to make our wedding festival-themed! What tips and tricks are there to help us start the booking process for our summer 2021 celebration?

A. Jamie Bond says: The first thing to think about is what do you both like best about gigs and festivals? Is it the informality, the atmosphere or the shared purpose of everyone being there for the same thing? My experience of festivals is that it's not just about the music but the whole experience: entertainment, meeting new people and leaving normality behind. But what does this mean for a wedding celebration?

By stepping away from more formal wedding receptions, you open the door to so many possibilities – think guests mixing in the open air, playing games or having five minutes in a chill-out tipi after a silent disco under the stars, with street food and midnight ice-cream from grocers' cycles. Of course, this theme can extend through every aspect of your wedding. Why not send wristbands rather than invites and arrange a mini-tipi village for guests to camp in afterwards?

Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

Q. I'm really confused about how big a wedding cake we need for the day. We've got a total of 100 guests for the evening reception and want everyone to have a slice – but also don't want to be left with loads that will go to waste!

A. Debbie Oliver says: I understand your concern – it's often confusing to know how much cake you need, and you certainly don't want to waste any! As a cake-maker, I'm used to being asked how many tiers a couple should have. For 100 guests, I would recommend three tiers in six-, eight- and 10- inch round sizes. You should be able to get 120 portions from a cake that size, which will give you just enough left over to send to guests who were unable to make your big day.

Gift of giving

Gift of giving

Q. I'm totally stuck for gift ideas for our bridesmaids! Perfume or vouchers seem so obvious – is there anything we can gift that will make them realise how special they are?

A. Kelly Ibinson says: A personalised gift box for each bridesmaid would be a lovely idea. That way, you can fi ll them with little gifts and keepsakes suited to each individual. You could add things like personalised slippers and a robe for the morning of the wedding, or a wedding day candle so that when they light it, they are reminded of your day. A champagne fl ute and a little clay heart keepsake are also great ideas, as it's these token gifts that will show them how much they're appreciated. Each item could also be personalised with their name, role and wedding date and will act as a lovely way to remind them of the role they had on your day. Whatever you choose, I'm sure your bridesmaids will appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into each gift they receive from you.

The wedding singer

The wedding singer

Q. We're looking for a singer to entertain our guests during the drinks and wedding breakfast but don't know where to start! Are there any dos and don'ts when it comes to looking – and how can we pick someone all our guests will like?

A. Stephen Halliday says: Don't just look at the fi rst page of Google, no matter how easy it is, as there are so many amazing acts that won't pop up. You should also avoid going with the most expensive act – the price doesn't mean you'll get the best. Instead, try to get a few quotes from singers of a similar genre, and then decide which one you both like.

As for choosing an act everyone will enjoy, well, it's your wedding! A lot of wedding singers have a huge repertoire, so asking them to do a mix of songs should keep everyone happy. Ask for their song list and even request the tracks you like – and make sure you hear them or watch a video if you can.

Camera shy

Camera shy

Q. My partner and I hate having our pictures taken, and you won't fi nd a single selfi e of either of us on our phones! Do you think we'd regret not having a photographer whatsoever to snap any part of our day?

A. Joe Connor says: A lot of couples worry about this. The wedding day itself is already a pretty intense occasion, and having everyone's eyes on you can be overwhelming, with the thought of a photographer stalking you only adding to your stress levels.

It's important to try to not focus on the fact that photos of you will be taken and concentrate more on the comfort that your special day is being captured – and that you'll be able to relive it again in the comfort of your own home. I can honestly say you'll never look back and say “I wish we'd never booked a photographer,” but it's highly likely that you would regret not having one. Without a photographer, you'd miss all the little details that you spent so long creating, the emotion on the faces of family friends and spontaneous moments that a good photographer is there to capture. Choosing a photographer with a natural style is always good for people with camera shyness, as they're great at blending in – and the majority of the photos are taken without your knowledge.

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